Physical training of school children with spastic cerebral palsy: effects on daily activity, fat mass and fitness.

R.J. Van den Berg-Emons*, M.A. van Baak, L. Speth, W.H.M. Saris

*Corresponding author for this work

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Department of Movement Sciences, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Effects of two 9-month sports programmes (four or two sessions per week) on level of daily physical activity (PA), fat mass (FM), and physical fitness were assessed in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP; n = 20, 9.2 +/- 1.4 yr), randomly assigned to an experimental and control group after matching. Four sessions per week tended to increase PA ratio (24-h energy expenditure/sleeping (resting) energy expenditure) after 9 months from 1.34 +/- 0.25 to 1.55 +/- 0.18 (P = 0.07; not different versus controls). FM increased continuously in the control group (after 9 months + 1.1 +/- 1.6 kg, P < 0.05), whereas the experimental groups showed no changes. Training (respectively four and two sessions) increased peak aerobic power 35% (P < 0.01; P < 0.05 versus controls) and 21% (P < 0.01; P = 0.17 versus controls). Results also suggest that training has a favourable effect on isokinetic muscle strength. No training-related effects were found on anaerobic power. It was concluded that although aerobic training has a limited effect on PA in children with CP, it may prevent deterioration in body composition and muscle strength. Furthermore, training has a favourable effect on peak aerobic power.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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